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An Orthodox Jewish girl growing up at the turn of the century before WWI, in the holy city of Jerusalem, was expected to be married off in her early teens . . . to a man chosen by her father, unbeknownst to her. Esther, feisty and different than her siblings, and the apple of her father's eye . . . takes over the running of the house after the death of her mother . . . and she does all that she can to delay and discourage her father from choosing a husband for her. At school, she learns French and is introduced to art by her teacher, who becomes a life long friend. Esther finds that she is a talented artist, and yearns to paint . . . but as a Jew, it is forbidden. More and more as Esther grows and matures, she struggles against the desires of her heart . . . and the rituals of the Jewish faith, which seem to restrict her. Finally her father succeeds in marrying her off and Esther becomes a wife and mother. I found the book to be very interesting, sometimes so sad . . . and my heart ached for the confines of those in the Jewish faith . . . as I am Christian, and I am so very thankful for the freedom from "the law". Yet, the Jewish people, are God's Chosen people . . . and He has a plan for them. I was both happy and sad listening to Esther's time in Paris . . . wishing discernment for her . . . but in many ways, it was like a kid in a candy shop . . . wisdom did finally come . . . but with a horrible cost . . . and perhaps a loss of faith, or maybe a letting go of something that never was faith at all . . . I was pleased with the ending . . . and the choices that Esther made as a mature woman. The book is well worth the listen.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
The story would best have ended 3 chapters earlier. Instead the author came close to becoming an 'agony aunt'. Additional generations should be saved for subsequent books. Poor editing.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful